Relief may be on the way for unemployed Montanan's

BILLINGS, Mont. - Many Montanans continue to file for unemployment by flooding the Montana Unemployment Insurance Division's website, even causing it to crash in some instances.   

With multiple businesses temporarily closing or laying off employees due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry have adopted new emergency rules, and after last night's Senate vote, there may be more help on the way.  

Wednesday night, the Senate passed a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package that would aid businesses, workers and others who have been effected by the Coronavirus.  With unemployment continuing to rise in Montana, Senator Steve Daines believes that this rescue package comes at the right time."There's $250 billion for unemployment insurance.  As I mentioned earlier, we're seeing an unprecedented surge in our unemployment in Montana as we speak.  This is to provide immediate relief to our workers who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic," said Daines. 

If the rescue package makes it through the House and receives President Trump's signature, it would create temporary benefits that normal unemployment checks don't have. Daines said "this will be about $600 more a week than they normally would receive from the state of Montana.  In fact, it would more than double their unemployment check from where it currently is today."

Meanwhile, the Montana Unemployment Insurance Division is now tasked with facing the overwhelming amount of unemployment claims in the state.  According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, over 21,000 Montanan's have filed for unemployment since March 16th, but they vow to continuing helping Montanan's.  "We're committed to the mission we have to help Montanan's in need when they have lost their jobs and we want to be able to do that as efficiently as possible," says Brenda Nordlund, acting commissioner of the Montana Unemployment Insurance Division.  

The rescue package will be voted on Friday morning by the House, if passed the rescue package would move forward to President Trump's desk.